Author's Note: This story has been in my head for a long time now and I'm finally putting pen to paper. I know it's been a long time since I have updated, two whole years in fact but I went through some family stuff and moved to a different country so it's been a busy couple of years, moving from England to Paris and then to the US is no easy feat. But I'm here now and determined to give these characters their ending, releasing them from their unfinished cyber space floating.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or anything to do with Stephanie Meyer's Saga
I was sitting in my father's study, curled up behind his desk on his big, comfy leather chair. It was four in the morning and I had been leafing through the papers on his desk in a half-hearted attempt to distract myself from the truth. I allowed a brief smile to pass my lips every time I saw his elaborate signature on the official papers of the city, London to be exact. I glanced at the clock in the corner of the room, watching as the second hand ticked and swirled methodically, allowing myself to sink deeper into the comfortable chairs and relax. Feeling a chill I stuck my wool and silk covered toes towards the hearth in the corner, it's ever dimming ambers still letting out slight warmth.
He should have been home by now I worried, why wasn't he home? I smoothed my dressing gown out in irritation and ran my fingers through my tangled curls. I needed to stop myself from falling asleep. The candles where coming to the end of their wicks and glowed softly in the dark room, casting darkness in the corners of the packed study, lulling me to sleep. I wished halfheartedly that I could wake up Mrs. Grayson, the housekeeper, to make me some of the lemon tea father has brought back from France, but she would send me straight to bed. I knew that there I would only be plagued by nightmares filled with shadows and monsters and blood. Those shadows could have been hunting my father that very moment…
"Isabella!" The door slammed open with a resounding smack as it hit the wall directly behind and I jumped from my slouched position in shock. There, standing in the darkened hallway looking tired and panicked was my father. For a man of only thirty he looked much younger, his teeth still white as the pearls from the ocean his eyes still bright, unusual for the time period. He was wearing his usual uniform of a loose shirt and breeches, a sash across his chest to show his superiority, a gun tucked into his belt as if that would suffice as some kind of protection. The moment he saw me he dug his hands into his golden blonde locks and heaved a sigh, he took in my frightened expression with weary eyes, "I am sorry my darling, you weren't in your room as I went to check. I panicked." He conceded, walking over and kissing my forehead, smoothing my hair adoringly.
"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to scare you... I was having trouble sleeping..." I said carefully, not wanting to reveal my nightmares again, he always worried too much. "Are you alright?" I asked, taking in his agitated appearance.
He nodded and his golden hair swirled with his movements, the angelic hair that left the women of London swooning. I watched him contently as he began moving around his desk, sorting through the mess I had made while I had been reading his affairs and dealings of business. I tilted my head, taking him in, I was always surprised that he had never remarried, I always had been. It was not that I particularly wanted him too, our household was well balanced and any new intrusion could have disrupted this, no I was in no hurry for him to feel the urge. But he had always worshiped my mother; he thrived in the relationship being such a caring person. I didn't believe he would survive without having a woman to look after him, a woman to love, but he seemed to be happy, even without a woman by his side.
"Father," I asked prodded in a questioning tone, wondering now.
He glanced at me and gave me a short but sincere smile, "Yes, darling?"
"Are you happy?" I said quietly.
He paused in his reshuffling of papers and I refused to meet his eyes. I kept my eyes fixed at the glass bauble on his desk and only raised my eyes when his finger prodded the underside of my chin, raising my head to his. "Why would you ask that?" He spoke softly, tentatively, curling my hands with his much larger, soft ones.
I shrugged embarrassed, "Well, mothers been gone for a very long time now and you haven't remarried, not that I want you to." I continued hastily, "It's just that I want you to be happy." I spoke slowly, trying to make him see that I was being completely truthful but then I imagined it. Some young girl not a year older than me that he could have another daughter with, a replacement for the family that fell apart around him.
He saw the tightening in my eyes and smiling softly, his blue eyes shining, "How could I be unhappy Isabella?" He cupped my cheek affectionately, "I have a beautiful daughter who is healthy and happy, who I love more than the world itself. I couldn't wish for anything else because I have already been given so much. I had your mother's love for ten amazing years Isabella and she gave me the greatest gift of all and that is enough for me. "
I smiled and he pulled me up from the seat and into his embrace, holding me tightly against him, "You won't ever leave me will you?" I cried, "Every time you leave at night I'm scared that you'll never come back and that I will be alone. I couldn't survive without you father, I wouldn't" I began to cry hysterically.
He shushed me soothingly and sat back on his chair, pulling me onto his lap, rocking me like a child, "I will never leave you Isabella, Never. I promise I will always be here for you when you need me and I will always protect you."
I nodded against his chest and let out a shaking sigh of relief, and as he murmured little melodies to me I fell into a deep and nightmare free slumber, waking only when I felt arms lowering me under the canopy of my bed.
"Goodnight Sweetheart." My father murmured kissing my brow again and pulling the covers up to my chin, "I love you."
"I love you." I slurred my reply as sleep overtook me again.
After that night life went on as usual. I continued with my father's strict education plan which consisted of regimented horse riding, dance, song, music, mathematics, English, French, alchemy, science lessons… the list went on and on, and where my father did not believe a paid tutor would do the job, he would dedicate his time to tutor me himself. In my little free time I went shopping with my few friends and attended the odd ball that my father found the time to accompany me to. I was always amazed at the time my father spent dedicated to me, long discussions in his study about the better novels that filled the shelves took up hours almost every night whereas my friends struggled to sit down to a meal with my parents more than once in a week. We were happy, content if time came to a sudden halt, allowing us to sit and talk and not have things such as my age and expectancy to marry looming over us. This was all before that night though. The night that would be burned into my head forever more.
The banging on the door woke me with a jolt, the echo's wandering down the halls and into my bedroom. It's funny how one's life can go from going so well to so incredibly wrong in a matter of moments… but I suppose you could apply the saying what goes up must come down to feelings and circumstances. Little did I know that today would be the day that my sheltered life would go spiraling out of control?
Living in the heart of London was a dangerous business in these times, even if you lived on the upper class side of the city. I knew immediately that the banging was no sign of good fortune.
When my mother left me and my father six years after I was born due to pneumonia it had been just the two of us. I had been heartbroken at the time, as had my father naturally, but I took comfort that I was able to say that her suffering had ended… it had been the silver lining on such a dark cloud for I had seen her deteriorate day by day for weeks. The best doctors, even my father, found themselves unable to nurse her back to health.
I had sat by her and read to her, sang to her and held her hand whilst she would send me small smiles and stroke my hair gently apologizing over and over. I had never understood why but father said that she felt guilty for leaving me without a mother. Her guilt had only made me more upset, although I knew that wasn't her intention.
My father and I had been close but my mother and I - she was my best friend, my one true confidant. She had taught me how to ride and indulged me in dresses she shouldn't have, she had taught me how to read and protected me from all the evils of the world.
I suppose I was incredibly lucky that I had such an amazing father to support me after her passing. When my mother died, my father didn't speak to me… didn't look at me for days, I guessed it was due to the likeness in looks between my mother and I but after the funeral he had become everything my mother had ever been and more.
The term 'daddy's girl' was an understatement. I would say my father was the main reason I was still an unwed woman at that point. It is not that I had not received interest but my father, being so reluctant to let me go, shielded me from there unwanted eyes to keep me close. I was also mature enough to understand that whomever I married would receive a large inheritance from my father due to me being his only child. I wanted to marry for love as my father had.
My grandfather was the priest at the town's parish which was the first part of my family's income but my father was employed in a much different manner. My father was a practicing doctor by day but also lead the hunt for creatures of the darkness at night. I hated every single part of it, it was dangerous and I was not so naïve as to not understand that most that my father caught and brought in for simple questioning where then taken by my grandfather, dragged into a city hanging or burning that was watched avidly like a form of sick entertainment. The people burned where nothing but petty thieves or men walking home from brothels. They had naught to do with anything and had simply been in the wrong place as the wrong time.
These hangings and burnings brought attention to the fact that it seemed my father was leading a successful hunt… ridding the streets of London from the dark and was therefore paid appropriately.
This all brings me back to the banging on my door and the chill that ran down my spine to think of what would bring such an awakening. I rolled to the edge of my bed and stood, flinching as the cold wood of the floor met my skin. I straightened the soft white sleeping gown that hung from my shoulders and pulled my embroidered dressing gown on, one that my father had bought me in France. I had hated it when he went away and he said when he saw it in the store he thought it would ease my suffering of being parted from him. It hadn't, but it was still a beautiful present.
Once my body was covered with the soft fabric I pulled open my bedroom door and walked swiftly down the art clad hallways to the large staircase, at which point I halted on the top step, gripping the banister. I had a clear view of the doorway where the housekeeper was bustling out from the servant's quarters in her own dressing gown holding a lamp before her, muttering angrily about the hour. The door was still vibrating erratically from somebody's fist, a mirror to my heart.
My father had left once I was asleep to follow a lead with his men. He had left reluctantly after my pleading for him to stay, it was so dangerous, I thought again to what my life would be reduced to without him. A young girl without either of her parents with one of the largest inheritance's in London would make me easy prey, but worst of all, I would have lost the most precious person in my life. The very thought of losing my father sent a shiver down my spine.
Glancing to the clock I noticed it was four in the morning near enough. Nobody would be up at this hour without purpose, never mind breaking down the door. It was a Sunday, mass didn't start until eight. I held my breath as the door swung open to reveal my father's right hand man, Harland.
At first I felt relieved, Harland was a close family friend whom I loved dearly, he eased my mother's passing for my father with his friendship greatly. I doubted my father would ever have been able to look at me again without Harland's help but then I thought of the only reason he would be waking up the house at this ungodly hour. I stiffened immediately, my nails digging into the oak banister beneath my fingertips.
He walked on into the house without invitation and waited for our housekeeper Mrs. Grayson to close the door behind him. Once it was securely locked he began.
"I need you to wake up Miss. Cullen immediately." he demanded.
This was not making me feel any easier about the situation.
Mrs. Grayson shook her head vehemently, "Her father did not want her waking until seven o'clock for morning mass at the Cathedral."
Harland shook his hand in her face as if to push the words away, "She needs to know what has happened, Mrs. Grayson, Carlisle was attacked by one of the creatures and has gone missing!"
I let out what sounded like half a cry and half a gasp and was racing as fast as humanly possible down the stairs to where Harland and Mrs. Grayson where standing watching me apprehensively.
I ran straight to face Harland, feeling tears stain my rosy cheeks, "When Harland?" I breathed.
"Not an hour ago…" he said sadly.
I felt my breathing hitch, "Where?" I demanded.
"I.. I…" Harland stuttered.
"Where?" I cried.
Harland's eyes widened, "Down by Stone Leigh Place just off the market street on Abbot's way."
I didn't wait a moment longer. I pulled on my closest set of shoes, my riding boots which were by the door waiting to be sent out to be cleaned, and found myself running into the streets, Harland in step.
I vaguely heard Mrs. Grayson's loud protests but I set off at a sprint, "Isabella, what in god's name do you think you're doing, your father would have a heart attack if he knew you were out here!" Harland called behind me.
All I could do was cry and in a futile attempt, try to keep my breathing steady. I knew Harland was about to intercept me and thanked the lord inwardly that I was at my shortcut. It was a tiny gap between two houses used by the boys who cleaned the chimney's to pass through to houses quicker. I had just managed to fit through when I was eight years old and I hiding from Mrs. Grayson, I could only hope my small frame would allow me to squeeze through. I also remembered that this gap was used by servants and that it truly was a god send. It would get me to my father quicker and serve as a hiding place if I needed one to get Harland off my tail.
I slid sideways into the gap and began to shimmy towards the opposite side which would lead straight out onto Abbot's way… I was so close to my father now.
"Isabella… stop!" I heard Harland below down the small passage, I turned my head briefly to see that he had realized he couldn't fit but he continued to in a futile attempt, hand outstretched towards me in desperation.
"I have to get to my father!" I sobbed continuing my shimmying movement.
He sighed, "I will meet you on the other side, please Isabella, do not come out until I am there, I beg of you." I didn't reply but watched as he disappeared from view. He was gone.
I came to the edge and pushed my body hard through the small gap making me fall out with a jolt; I hopped to my feet and looked around desperately.
"Father?" I called out onto the dark and empty street, dim street lights making small glows throughout the area.
"Father!" I cried, he was nowhere to be seen.
I leant back onto the brick house behind me and cried mercilessly, he wasn't here. I had lost him, the one relative I had left… aside from my grandfather. I knew my life would be doomed if I was left under his instruction. He had been telling father for years that he knew of appropriate suitors.
"Well, what a darling little thing you are…" My head snapped around to the voice, "but I regret to inform you that you should not be wandering the streets at night." The cool melodic voice spoke from beside me.
I jerked upright and looked to the voice; I took a large frightened step backwards from what I saw. Three inhumanly, red eyed… humans? Two males and one female stared back at me in fascination.
"Wouldn't she make a charming little addition." the clear leader of the three spoke, he slowly stretched out a hand and I, being rooted in my spot, felt his hard cool fingers brush along my left cheekbone.
"Ahh yes, she would be a beautiful one…" he smiled as if he had found a hundred sterling pounds sitting on the pavement without a claim.
"Do you know where my father is?" I cried in a stutter of fright.
He shook his head and moved his hand down to mine grasping it, not loosening it even as I tried to pull away, "I am afraid not, my darling."
"I need to go and find him." I said pulling at my hand more violently now, he didn't seem to realize, "Please let go, I need to find him, he's hurt." I pleaded.
The woman and other man standing behind my captor both grinned widely at me and I froze in terror. The male holding me pulled me closer, breathing deeply, ignoring my clear protest. He slipped one hand over my mouth and the other placed it on the small of my back pulling me close.
"This is my gift to you Isabella," he whispered against my face before pushing my head back slightly and placing his lips to my throat, I cried out in confusion, was it my virtue he was seeking? I felt the sharp pain of tearing flesh upon my neck where his teeth sank in and I screamed.
Nothing else mattered then but the urge to escape but I couldn't, the pain so intense.
He pulled away leaving a painful sting and lifted me gently into his arms, before long all I knew was pain, pain and darkness.
Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. I am looking for a beta but they have to be qualified, good grammar, sentence structure – mine sucks so if anybody would like to help I would be very grateful. Oh, and a good imagination and sense of humor couldn't hurt either! If anybody fancies please email me! Good/Bad, Interesting/Boring let me know.